....... M's 4
are they kidding with these 100s? wouldn't doubt it



How sweeeet it is...


NYY 55-28
Sea 55-31
Orcs 47-39 ?! -8.0
Rays 43-42 -11.5
Rodent Angels 43-43 -12.0

True, the rodent Angels may be only -8 runs to us in run differential, but the Mainframe is confidently telling me that our +24 RD will helium up towards +100 by the end of the season.


Q.  Did Nelson Cruz get all of that homer or what?

A.  Or what.  Blowers thought he "missed" it, getting it out on the end.  I think he did.  While we're on the definition of cool, we take it you saw the sleeveless-shirt game.  You think Bobby Wagner has guns that size or no?

Well, they said M's 4 Angels 1.  But actually 7-1:  Segura had an HR go one foot foul with a man on, and Healy had one go about a yard or so foul.


Also:  is it me, or is Ryon Healy imitating Cruz?  Consciously or subconsciously, he seems to be using the same deliberate approach, as I think they noted on TV, the same bat launch, quiet lower body, and truncated followthrough.... of course, a swing won't give you vision.  And Healy always had that sweet, compact follow.

But Ryon is growing on me, and could be making the M's first base job his.  He seems to bring that "collegiate intensity," seems to pick them pretty well at 1B, and at "Age 26 With Upside" (John Benson) it doesn't seem many of us would limit his chances to move up from here.  ..... for some reason I had thought he was in a big slump, but he's slugging .469 for the year which isn't far off his season high of .495.

By the way.  How do you measure how well a 1B is picking up 1-hoppers and should-be errors?  Blowers made the point that he thought when the other IF's were confident in the 1B, that they threw more accurately.  (This was true of me, for sure.)


Poor 'Bach.  Can't catch a break.  Leading us to this question:


Q.  Is Cole Hamels worth an org 15-30 prospect?

A.  For us that's what, Braden Bishop?  (Org-adjusted.)  Think it was Jon Morosi who said that the M's were the only team talking to the stRangers about Hamels, the Rangers having anybody and everybody up for sale, they say.

Coming into the year, Shandler was like "don't pay premium $ for what is now a MOR arm" but that is kind of like saying "don't pay $30 for an $18 arm," you know, like Hamels is now a 2-3 guy.

Let's see, Bill James kindly tabulates the chess-type ratings I love, except for pitchers, and he's got .... HEY!  PAXTON #15 IN BASEBALL! ... almost missed him.  I was looking for Hamels in the 40s, but he is #19 in baseball.  Slap me silly.  And you could argue that Tejas has hurt him badly; his HR rate is like 1.9 and Safeco is not known for allowing 1.9 homer rates.  Well, to Ariel Miranda perhaps.

Question is what the M's do with him.  You asSUME they put LeBlanc in the pen.  But what if they shed Felix for him?


Dr D




Concerning:  After running FIPs in the low to mid-3’s from ‘11-‘15 he jumped to 3.98, 4.62 and 5.00 in ‘16-‘18.  Ahem to the trend.

Not concerning:  His OPS allowed over his Texas stint has been something like .775 at home and .645 on the road.  That road number is the one to look at and is better than the road James Paxton this season.  Over that last 365 days, he’s given up a .238 BA.  Over that same period of time, Paxton’s is .213.  That’s the kind of stuff B. James is seeing.  Hamel’s not yet running on fumes.

If  M’s are going to rent a pitcher, which makes great sense, then just go get Hamels and don’t quibble about the cost.  

And if that happens, it should be Felix that takes a seat, but it will be LeBlanc.

He makes us better.  This year being better, maybe even 1 or 2 games better, may allow us to avoid a WC game.

Get me to a series with some Paxton and Marco starts......I like those odds.  


CPB, that would certainly square with what DiPoto said recently that he is concerned about the workload of pitchers approaching career highs in IP already. 

Are we looking at Erasmo as the no. 6 with an addition like Hamels?

Apart from larger contextual considerations, Felix is the obvious choice to be the odd man out. But unless he really did come up gimpy in his last, shortened 5 inning start, that looks like a move politically impossible for the M's. You got Leake to be an innings eater. Just saw on the game graphics last night that he is in fact second on the team in IP to Paxton. So it's Felix or LeBlanc. Is it possible the extension is partly motivated by giving LeBlanc some reassurance before making a big trade and having to move him into the bullpen? Who knows?!


He's open to the role change as well, so I view him more as an emergency depth starter... no need to jostle one of the current five for him, unless Felix's balky back makes it necessary.

Bring in Hamels. His AMAZING home-road splits give me a ton of optimism that he'd be a quality #2-style addition this year for nothing* more than cash. And that - a legit #2 - is likely the only style of starting pitcher worth adding in this context, when we're talking about eventually (come playoff-time) dropping a PAIR of our current SPs (assuming the new guy makes it in) off of our playoff rotation, with all of the potential chemistry issues that portends...


Note that when a 6-man rotation was discussed for Texas, Hamels immediately called foul and told reporters he wanted no part of it - it wasn't the way he prepared and pitched, period. So, another reason to go with my idea of trying for Chris Archer. ;-)



I also agree with Rick82 below, LeBlanc keeps starting. A 6-man sounds quite reasonable for this pitching staff, and I think the existing 5 buy in for all the good reasons stated - Felix needs more rest, Leake probably could use it, and the rest are approaching their former limits. Add Chris Archer, who needs time to fix things, and it would seem you could pull it off.

Wouldn't mind getting Keone Kela from Texas, though, if he sounded sincere about straightening up his act here at home. Some say part of his problem is anger and frustration at the team's direction. If so, we've got a contender with some back-end issues right-'chere!


He’s rock solid, don’t mess with him. Felix...three of his last six starts were quality starts. One of the non QS’s was five innings of keeping the Yanks to a single run. That’s a quality #5 starter with what I would call upside. Funny to say Felix has upside, but he’s learning to pitch again With a minus fastball but incredible bendy stuff. 

I think of Orlando Hernandez and the valuable role he played for the Yanks as spot starter, long reliefman and wonder if it would be possible to stick Felix in something like that. There‘s a hit in the pride dept., but Orlando was often considered a vital MVP during that Yankee dynasty. I remember when Fred Brown became the sixth man for the Sonics. People around here don’t remember what a great starter Freddie was the years prior to taking on that role, but he is forever beloved for taking that role.

Now, I don’t have any idea if Felix has the sponginess Orlando did, to come in when needed. Probably not. But, he probably gotta keep him, and there’s a role for him.

tjm's picture

Ala CPB's suggestion about the six-man rotation, though I think it'll not be a formal six. More like everybody gets skipped on a regular basis. You run 1-6 then skip 1, 2-6-1 then skip 2, etc.

Jed C's picture

there are no off days from July 26th until August 16th. Having a 6th starter then would be pretty helpful to manage innings. 

They start having regular off days after that, so maybe they would start skipping starts to give guys almost two weeks off to rest their arms.

Yellow Trident's picture

Surely Acquiring Hamels will cost more than one prospect. But how much more?  What is realistic and do we have the guts to do it?  I would be in favor of making it happen.  Two prospects in the org 5-15 range?  

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